Tracks of the Week 27/03/16

This week has seen a variety of bands debuting music from new projects and albums that are set to drop later this year. I thought I’d share a couple of my favourites from 5 artists that really grabbed my attention.

  1. Bloody Knees- I want it all

Bloody Knees are a grunge/punk band from Cambridge that have released a couple of EPs over the years; ‘Stitches’ is my favourite and expresses 20 minutes of gritty guitar licks and shrilling vocals from frontman Bradley Griffiths. They’re an outfit that could be compared to Birdskulls and Demob Happy – two more alternative punk/grunge bands that are slowly making a name for themselves in the world of music.

This song however sounds more sophisticated than their other releases, with the length of the track being nearer to 5 minutes than their normal short and sharp 3 minute songs. The start of the song has a similar guitar tone to previous releases but the catchy chorus is louder and more in your face than before. Griffiths’ vocals are slightly more tamed too but this doesn’t take away the naturally thrashing sound of the guys.

2. Parquet Courts- Outside

Toning down from previous releases and using more instrumentation rather than focusing on lyrics, Parquet Courts’ short length track ‘Outside’ is extremely infectious and will leave you wanting more. The track uses pianos to back up the rhythmic guitar riffs and, unsurprisingly, it works really well. The album is shaping up nicely with Courts also having released songs ‘Dust’ and ‘Berlin got Blurry’; ‘Dust’ is definitely my favourite but I’m loving all of the new material from the band.

3. SBTRKT- Let Them In

I have been a fan of this electronic artist for a while now and I think SBTRKT is only getting better and better.  His music is constantly evolving, becoming more complex and using various synthesisers to open up new soundscapes and different musical parallels.

This song comes from SBTRKT’s new project ‘Save Yourself’ which is Aaron Jerome’s feelings on modern society, whether that is racism or politics. ‘Let Them In’ is one of the darker tracks on the project but its pulsating patterns and contrasting electronic synths merge to create the best track for late night headphone raving ever. It is completely different to earlier track ‘Ready Or Not’ but no song is ever the same with SBTRKT and I guess this shows how broad his thoughts on society are.

4. Kendrick Lamar- Untitled 07 levitate

This song does not feature on Kendrick’s ‘Untitled Unmastered’ album but it is certainly good enough to. I’m new to liking Lamar’s music and this song is certainly the reason why I came around to his musical innovation. Touching on many social issues in his lyrics about his home roots and his rise to success, Kendrick proves to be one of Hip Hop’s biggest lyrical hopes.

‘Untitled 07 levitate’ is undoubtedly depressing and has drill-esque instrumentals but also funky synthesisers whirring around Lamar’s soothing, childlike vocals. I actually prefer this song to any of the tracks on ‘Untitled Unmastered’ so this is a track definitely worth checking out.

5. Abattoir Blues- Tell Me

This track only came to my attention yesterday night but it was way too good to leave off my songs of the week. The psychedelic guitar riffs and screeching vocals make this such a massive, stadium filling song; how this only has around 500 plays on Soundcloud is beyond me. Abattoir Blues are from Brighton and therefore face competition from the likes of Black Honey and The Wytches when trying to claim alternative status in the area but if they keep producing tracks like ‘Tell Me’ then they’ll be up there with the rest of them.

Review: Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

Iggy Pop has finally released his highly anticipated album ‘Post Pop Depression’ that sees him collaborate with the likes of Josh Homme and Matt Helders. The front man of The Stooges has been a rock idol for decades now with musicians in the calibre of Dave Grohl aspiring to his front man capabilities and musical prowess.

The album is 9 tracks long and starts off with a very Queens of the Stone age-esque ,’Songs for the death’ era, tune entitled ‘Break into your heart’. As catchy as it is, with Iggy’s chatty vocals, it is a slightly underwhelming entrance to a project that seems so exciting on paper. However the mysterious piano progressions are very strong throughout the song and sets a seriously sinister mood for the rest of the album. At the age of 68 it is always going to be hard for any of Pop’s music to reach the ferocity of the days of ‘Raw Power’ and in fact the instrumentation favours his more monotone vocals, which even fits his more summery, open roof cadillac tunes like ‘Gardenia’ (the second track on the album).

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The album, as a whole, sounds like a trip to the bare-bone of 70’s rock and is a good addition to the other 22 records Pop has released since 1969, there are a few stand out songs on here, my current favourite being ‘Vulture’, which reminds me of a dusty saloon bar brawl on a hazy afternoon in the desert. Iggy’s vocals thrive on the slightly muted acoustic guitar and subtly intense drumming patterns of Helders.

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The permanently bare chested punk king was interviewed by beats radio and quoted “I feel like I’m closing up after this. That’s what I feel. It’s my gut instinct.” which is depressing for any music fan to hear and I really think Iggy has more to offer than this album. It’s fairly lack lustre, as much as I hate to say it, and yes he’s getting on a bit but the album is very similar throughout and doesn’t excite me greatly at any point. If this record is Iggy Pop’s last it would be a fairly abrupt way to finish such a spectacular and celebrated career from one of the greatest garage-rock pioneers.

Rating: 6.5 (still worth checking out as it is an album with Iggy Pop, Josh Homme, Dean Fertita and Matt Helders all featuring).

Iggy will be going on tour too! To check out where click here.

Review Ho99o9: Blood Waves

Ho99o9 are one of punk’s biggest hopes, whether the genre needed a revival or not we have  one in this duo and I’m loving every second of their music. Their fusion of hardcore punk and hip hop is monstrous and shows there’s still an alternative, underground scene in L.A and New Jersey. TheOGM and Eaddy have been praised since their formation in 2012 and they have toured with the likes of Slaves in recent times. Their live show is meant to be incredible and one of the deadliest around at the moment, with Eaddy often moshing with their fans who have become a cult following of the band since their early releases like ‘Casey Jones’ and ‘Cum Rag’.

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This song is one of Ho99o9’s best yet, a blood-curdling, 3 minute, social sucker punch involving unnerving, distorted guitars and slashing drum patterns. The music video is equally as horrifying, but in a good way. Working with Converse, the outfit created a creepy luminous paint infestation in some sort of warehouse. The video is said to be interactive too with it changing due to the lighting of your room. At 2 minutes you think  ‘Blood Waves’ is all over, ending with a piercing screech but after this minor interlude you are pushed straight back into the mix of thumping guitars and typical punk vocals from Eaddy.

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This is the best punk song to land in 2016 so far, I’ve got a head ache from the amount of head banging it has caused me.

Rating: 9/10

 

Ho99o9’s Dead Bodies in the Lake mixtape…

Massive Attack: Ritual Spirit Review

To say I was excited about this EP would be a huge understatement, 6 years waiting to hear new material from a band is too long; especially when the group is as good as Massive Attack. The Trip Hop outfit have been around for a while, pioneering the 90’s Bristol scene since the release of their first album in 1991, their dramatically atmospheric dynamics are always intriguing, often failing to feature a chorus and preferring lavish orchestral arrangements.

The EP starts off with the track ‘Dead Editors’ and features the fantastic Hip Hop artist Roots Manuva. The sinister baseline and percussion is like a drug, incredibly addictive and hugely complimentary of Manuva’s dark lyrics. Massive Attack then move on to a song that is more to their classic sound, it features Azekel and carries on the slow tempo of the EP. In 2010 Grant Marshall rejoined the group and vowed to “bring back the black to Massive Attack” which he evidently has in this album as it sounds like one long, infectious tribal dance.

One of my favourite features on the album is Young Fathers, an electro pop group from Scotland who, in the past 3 years, have toured relentlessly, released 2 albums and won a Mercury: not bad if you ask me. The cut they feature on is called ‘Voodoo In My Blood’ and it sounds as if Young Fathers had a say on the instrumentation too; it’s fair to say that the mix of the two artists couldn’t have worked any better. The album ends in style with Tricky  being the last to have vocals on the record. The lyrics are undeniably devilish and it’s a real throw back to the days of ‘Blue Lines’ when Tricky was still in the band.

This is an EP you must check out, it’s easily the best record to drop so far this year.

Rating: 9/10 (Would have been 10/10 but it wasn’t long enough)

If you like this then you’ll love this…